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Have you ever searched long and hard for lint you dropped out of your pocket? How about crawling through your house, searching every nook and cranny, to find a lost Cheerio? I never have; however, I have hunted for hours to find a lost ring. Many times I’ve run rapidly around my yard looking for one of my children who wouldn’t respond to my call to come inside.

We’ve all searched for what was lost that is of value. Flipping off sofa cushions and reaching a hand deep into the gaps to find what was lost. Walking rapidly through a shopping mall with eyes scanning for a young child. The greater worth, the more time and effort we will sacrifice to find what was lost.

God’s Word teaches us that every person is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, every person, no matter his age or her race has inherent value and dignity. And yet, the Bible also teaches us that we are all spiritually lost. Although we were made by God to know Him, we have all gone away from Him. In sin, we have chosen to seek after ourselves, make our own gods, and serve our sinful desires. We are lost.

But we lost sinners are not discarded by God. On the contrary, in the Bible we read that God is pursuing and seeking after those who have rebelled against Him. This mission to rescue us is costly for God. In order to save the lost, God the Father sends His Son to go to the cross and take upon himself our sins. In a mystery we cannot fully fathom, Jesus experiences on the cross what being completely lost entails, total separation from God the Father – hell itself.

The sacrifice fully paid, Jesus rose from the dead, giving us assurance that he is able to fully save the sinner. The lost can be found. Not by our works or our deeds, but through the gift of grace received when we place our faith in Jesus.

PriceLessReader, this should help you understand why your friend constantly shares the message of the gospel of Jesus with you. She believes what God says about you, that you are precious and loved. This should explain why Christians have always fought to stop infanticide and abortion and are consistently involved in helping the vulnerable, the homeless, the orphan, the refugee, and the foreigner. We do this because we believe what the Bible teaches, that all people are loved by God and have priceless value.

This is why Christians take risks when we share our faith with our families, communities, and to far off countries, even though this may lead to persecution and death. Christians know God’s great love for all people; therefore, they sacrifice to be used by God so that others who are lost might be found.

Dear reader, even though you are so lost that you cannot bring yourself to God, you are of value and loved so much God the Father sent God the Son as a sacrifice for you to bring you to the one true and living God.

Consider the price of the sacrifice of the God who seeks to find the lost. May it cause you to respond with faith in Jesus.

Pastor Aaron

Pastor Aaron Brockmeier is pastor of Saint Luke’s Church, which meets at 10:15 a.m. Sundays at 1100 9th Ave. SW in Faribault. He may be reached at aaron@slcfaribault.com or by calling the church at 507-334-6608. More information about Saint Luke’s Church and upcoming Bible Studies and events can be found by going to http://slcfaribault.com or by following Saint Luke’s on Facebook.

*This article was originally published at http://www.southernminn.com/faribault_daily_news/article_d25308a4-2056-5686-a8e7-94d0aa8833e0.html

IMG_6686Last Sunday, we hosted the MN Adult and Teen Challenge Choir. During the worship service, close to 40 students from the Rochester Center shared inspirational songs and personal stories of their recovery from addiction through the power and forgiveness of God.

I love hosting MN Adult and Teen Challenge at Saint Luke’s. It’s not easy to hear of the hurt each one of the students have brought to themselves and others. And yet, it is so encouraging to hear how Jesus is redeeming the broken lives and healing hurting hearts. Their presentation was also a valuable reminder to me of these four biblical truths about sin:

Sin is Deceptive
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Sin is scoffed at by many. It’s not a big deal they say. But sin always appears smaller than it is. As God reminded Cain in Genesis 4, “Sin is crouching at the door.” Like a predator stalking its prey, sin’s nature is to look initially more harmless than it actually is. And then when it has deceived, sin suddenly attacks and conquers. Don’t be tricked by the initially innocuous or even appealing appearance of sin. Sin only leads to bitterness, destruction, and death.

Sin Enslaves
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Romans 6:22).
A symptom of sin is the false sense of control it gives to its victims. They think they are still free; they can stop the sin at any time. One student shared how he lived a double life as a high-functioning addict. He thought he could stop at any time but was unable to free himself as he slide down in life to rock bottom. The power of sin grows quickly and those enslaved to sin will find that they soon, “cannot sleep unless they have done wrong” (Proverbs 4:16a). If you think you are in control of your sin, very likely you are already devoted to it. True freedom is only found in Christ.

Wisdom Warns
“Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life” (Proverbs 4:13).
The Bible is full of exhortation for us to turn away from sin and to turn to Christ. In the Scriptures we can learn the horrendous consequences of sin as it devastates families, friendships, and fellowship with God. We hear similar warnings from the students at MN Adult and Teen Challenge. Friends, listen! The wise learn not by experience but by heeding the wisdom God has given us.

Grace Knows No Bounds
“[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
In the gospels we see the grace of Jesus is only withheld from one group of people.  Thieves, prostitutes, criminals, lepers, and gentiles all find forgiveness in Jesus. Who does not find grace? The graceless are those who do not believe they need God’s grace. It is those who think they are healthy who in reality do not find grace. Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31–32). Without Jesus we are all addicts to sin. Don’t miss the grace of Jesus by believing that you are not included in the all who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Let us continue to passionately pray for, generously support, and wisely learn from MN Adult and Teen Challenge.

But by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10),
Pastor Aaron

Message preached on Feb. 15th, 2015, by Pastor Aaron Brockmeier.

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“Seeking the Lost” Luke 15

Message preached on Feb. 8th, 2015, by Pastor Aaron Brockmeier

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“The Narrow Door” Luke 13:22-30

 

Message Preached on Feb. 1st., 2015 by Randy Hardy.

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Message 02/01/15

MN Teen Challenge Logo

To share how God is working through Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, their choir will perform at Saint Luke’s at the 10:15AM service on Sunday, February 22nd, 2015. Following the service, a free meal will be served.

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge is a faith-based residential chemical dependency program for teens and adults with chronic alcohol, drug and other life-controlling problems. The mission of MN Adult and Teen Challenge is to provide rehabilitation for adults and teens whose problems are so serious they can no longer function in social, family, and work settings, and to help them become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive.

For more than 25 years, Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge has been restoring hope to teens and adults struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. They are one of the largest, most effective, and most affordable programs in the nation with campuses in Minneapolis, Brainerd,  Duluth, and now Rochester, Minnesota.

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge offers both a long-term faith based recovery program and a shorter-term licensed treatment program called Life Renewal allowing us to effectively serve individuals with a broad spectrum of addiction issues; from those seeking treatment for the first time, to those who have been struggling with addiction for many years.

Every Sunday, groups of Adult and Teen Challenge residents visit regional churches where they share inspirational songs and personal stories of their recovery from addiction. The choir provides a unique learning environment and plays an integral part in the recovery process as residents truly benefit from giving vocal expression to the life change that they have experienced.

The Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Choir is known statewide. The choir’s contemporary Gospel and Praise songs will be accompanied by inspiring student stories of their deliverance from addiction by the power and forgiveness of God. Additionally, the students will be available following the service to answer questions about their personal experiences and how their lives have been changed through Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge.

All are invited to attend. You will be inspired by the message of hope brought by the Minnesota Teen Choir.

minnesota-teen-challenge-at-saint-lukes

MN Teen Challenge Logo

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